Title: The Pain, the Comfort

Rating: PG 13 for swearing and shonen-ai! (which will be more expressed in chapter two)

Summary: Kengo gets in a fight with a bunch of thugs to prove to himself that he's not useless to Akira. He fails miserably. But what seems like failure can turn into a victory in the end.

Pairing:Akira/Kengo some slight mentions of Shirogane/Akira

Disclaimer: I DO NOT OWN MONOCHROME FACTOR. If I did Kengo would be in it sooo much more and Akira wouldn't be so much of a douche-bag to him. That's why I make him semi-nice here. Don't want to go too OOC, though. -sigh-

Note: I only have the first two manga volumes, getting the third soon. I also only saw a few episodes of the anime. If it isn't completely accurate to the story, OH WELL. It's a fanfic. Deal with it. I tried my best.

The Pain, the Comfort.

It hurt. A lot. Kengo would never have thought that after being smacked around by Akira hadn't made him numb to the pain he was in right now. Perhaps laying on one's back after taking a beating wasn't a smart thought either. Not that Kengo was able to fix that. The pain was enough to keep him from moving. Even breathing hurt and it was getting considerably harder to do that too. The blonde coughed, which caused him to choke the blood that had clogged up his throat. He had only sucked it back in once he tried to breathe in air in desperation.

'I guess this is it,' Kengo thought to himself, straining to keep his eyes open as he looked up at the clouded sky. It appeared to be ready to rain. He made what sounded like a half gurgle, half laugh at the realization that he was either going to drown from his own blood or from the rain. Like a goddamn turkey, even. How pathetic was that? Kengo was only glad that Akira wasn't here to see this. How would the better boy even think when he saw him like this? Probably shrug it off, pass him by as if he were uninteresting road kill and keep on going. After all, what was Kengo to Akira? Just a nuisance.

Akira didn't need him, he said so him self. The other's boy's words rang through Kengo's head and he found that they hurt worse than the pain he was in now. Figures. Akira's opinion of him was all that mattered to the blonde. It was sickening to think about. All the years they knew each other, Kengo spent his entire time by Akira's side like a loyal lapdog. Taking anything the other boy threw at him with a smile and always coming back.

Call it obsession, call it stupidity. Usually Kengo was on the scale of the latter, since everyone claimed him to be the idiot of idiots. Maybe they were right. Hell, they were! Kengo was so stupid to have thought that if he took down a gang by himself, well, perhaps Akira would notice him. See him more as just a lap dog, or an inconvenience.

'Why should I even care now, anyway? He'll never see me...not ever...especially not now.' Kengo began to feel wetness on his cheeks. at first he thought it was the rain that had finally started, but he soon found that they were tears, which apparently had been streaming down his face for quite some time.

He cursed himself, shutting his eyes tightly as he went into a terrible coughing fit that shook his body and caused it to tense from the searing pain rocketing through his body. Kengo hated being so weak, so useless...just as Akira had always seen him. Even when Akira had given him the okay to join him to help fight the Kokuchi, he could see Akira really didn't want to. He had protested from the start ever since Kengo insisted that he would be a huge help. That it would be fun...because they would be hanging out more often together...which what he wanted so badly.

Kengo had known for a while that their friendship was losing stability, not that it was very stable to begin with. It was a matter of master and dog. And the master was losing interest in the dog. The loyal, admiring dog.

Yet, Kengo wouldn't give up and continued to be persistent, in which Akira gave in and gave him the special gloves he took from Shirogane. He was so grateful, barely able to believe that he could actually help Akira, be someone he could count upon. But...Akira was right all along. It was a horrible idea to count on him. He failed. Kengo failed to prove himself to Akira and his own self. The fight barely lasted five minutes. Sure, he got a few hits in for a while, but there were more in the gang than he had seen before.

'Idiot,' Kengo snapped at himself, going through another coughing fit and gasping when he couldn't suck in any more air. He was in a panic now. Was this it? Was he really going to die like this? Kengo felt his consciousness slowly fading, the darkness creeping over his already muddled mind until he distantly heard a voice

"What the--Kengo?" He couldn't open his eyes. He had already used up all his strength when he tried to push himself towards the corner of the ally earlier, which failed miserably at. The blonde felt himself being inspected before he was turned over to his stomach. at that moment, his eyes shot open from the pain. Kengo expelled all the blood that had collected itself in his throat when the boy quickly and graciously sucked in fresh air. He gasped, caching his breath after a minute of gaining his full awareness.

"Jesus, what the hell did you do?" came the same voice from before. It was all too familiar to the boy.

"A..Aki..." Kengo couldn't bring himself to complete the name.

"It appears that he took quite a beating." Another familiar voice. One he resented. One he was jealous of.

"I know that, Shirogane," Akira's voice snapped irritably. Kengo smiled thinly at that. Always the hothead. Typical Akira.

"Yes, but you asked and he can't possible be able to answer--"

"Shut up!" Akira snapped again, turning the other boy over to his side. Kengo hadn't seen Akira's face until now when the angry, blue orbs stared down at him disapprovingly. Kengo swallowed, feeling incredibly guilty. Had he upset him for doing this? He hadn't expected this. "You really are so damn stupid."

Kengo winced at his words, brown eyes wavering from the other's face shamefully. "Sorry...I just thought," he stopped. He thought what? Kengo furrowed his brows. What was it again that he was doing anyway. Akira shook his head and hoisted him up, surprised when he heard the blonde cry out from the quick movement.

The brunette was never one to notice another's pain very well. He was selfish after all and it didn't concern him. Yet, apparently Kengo was an exception this time as he stopped to stare at the blonde for a moment, not moving an inch. "Are you seriously in that much pain or are you just being dramatic?" he half droned, narrowing his eyes.

"Uh-um..." Kengo tried to form legible words, but nothing could really come out. He finally replied with a shrug, which only let to him whimpering again. Akira rolled his eyes, figuring walking him to safety wasn't going to work. He looked towards the older, silver haired man with the hat and they both shared a nod. "Hey...what-?" the blonde began to ask before Akira's hair turned a dark shade of black and his blue orbs turned a deep red.

Akira had become a Shadow a while back, becoming one when the mysterious Shirogane had met up with him. No one was supposed to be able to see Shadows, but once you recognized their existence, there was no going back. Thanks to Kengo's sister being possessed, he was then aware of Shirogane's existence and soon able to see Akira's Shadow form.

Not that Kengo would admit it, but he actually thought Akira looked a lot better with black hair. It fit him quite well. Made him handsome, dark...and his eyes--Kengo stopped himself, mentally giving himself a slap in the face. Of course, when Akira had picked him up and had started flying above the city, it didn't help the heat rising to his ears. He could only assume his face was just as beat red.

Luckily for Kengo Akira was oblivious to his friend's musings on his appearance. He seemed dead set on the destination. Kengo blinked and looked down bellow him, feeling a knot grow in his stomach. When he saw that Akira had passed his house, however, he finally found his voice. "Hey, you missed my house!"

"Like hell I'm taking you to your sister when you're like this," Akira commented matter-of-factly. "She's probably not even home to even help you."

"Then," Kengo furrowed his brows in confusion, "where are we going?"

"My house, dumbass," Akira said as if it was the most casual thing in the world.

"Wha-what?" Kengo gawked, his russet eyes widened at the thought. "But you never let me stay there," he whined, confused. What was Akira planning? He didn't like this at all and he began to squirm.

"Shut up and stop writhing," Akira growled, looking down at the wiggling blonde with annoyance. "Or I'll drop you right now." Kengo made another complaining noise before he stopped. He really didn't want to be a huge, bloody splat on the pavement. Or on someone's lawn. Or on top of some poor, old grandma. "Better," Akira commented. "Besides, who says anything about you staying at my house anyway? I'm keeping you there until I find out what the hell you were doing dying in the middle of some abandoned ally and not having called for me at all."

Kengo frowned and glared up at Akira. Yeah, liek he was going to call Akira to rescue him like some damsel in distress. Ha, not likely. Though, it did kind of sound appealing, Akira being a knight in shining armor or Prince Charming-GAH STOP! Kengo screamed in his mind, shaking his head frantically.

"Dude, you are acting really weird," Akira noted, finally landing on the front door of his house, Shirogane always ahead of him. Soon Akira was a brunette again as Shirogane allowed himself to be his shadow again so humans could see Akira without having to see a levitating Kengo. That would raise some eyebrows. So would having Akira carrying him in the first place, actually, now that the blonde thought about it.

"I am not," Kengo finally retorted. "I wouldn't have called you even if I wanted to!" He bit his lip, finally realizing what he just said. Akira's expression was hard to read, but he knew he wasn't happy. Kengo readied himself to be tossed aside, scoffed at, and left there in front of the other boy's house. He shut his eyes tightly, preparing himself for the impact to the hard ground. When nothing happened, he opened his eyes and blinked in confusion.

Akira did look angry now, yes, but he hadn't thrown Kengo or punched him sky high into oblivion. He almost looked, dare he say, hurt. He appeared to ant to say something important, but Akira quickly changed the subject. "Think you can walk now? My arms are cramping up. You really need to lay off the rice patties, got it?"

Kengo gave him another glare, but knew the insult was anything but serious. He sighed. "I...guess. I haven't really tried." Akira took this as an opportunity to drop him, which he did, and rather gracefully waltz to his door.

"Ow! Hey," Kengo whined, hitting the ground rather hard on his ass. "I should have seen that coming," he mumbled. Shirogane chuckled softly and came over to the blonde and helped lift him to his feet.

"Need help?"

"No!" Kengo tore his arm away from the strange man. He didn't know why his sister fawned over him. He was really creepy, with all his smiles and his twisted change of personality at the oddest of times. "I'm fine," he added quietly, stumbling on himself as he tried to make it to Akira's door.

"Moron," Akira sighed under his breath as he grabbed Kengo by the arm and kept him from falling up the steps. If anyone could accomplish that, it was Kengo. He pulled away from Akira in aggravation, but the other boy just grabbed him by the arm again and dragged him inside.

'Wait,' Kengo thought to himself, bewildered. 'Why aren't I in as much pain as before?'

As if Akira knew what the other was thinking, he answered, "While we were flying I started transferring healing energy into you. Master is still a lot better at it than me or Shirogane, but hey, it was worth a try. But damn, did it wear me out," he grumbled, rubbing his shoulder and stretching it to relax his muscles. Before Kengo could say anything, Akira shoved him not-so-gently onto the couch and crossed his arms while he studied the blonde's appearance. Busted lip, half swollen eye, bruises, and cuts all over his face--just what had the boy gotten himself into this time? It was really frustrating for Akira to find this out about Kengo. It wasn't like him to go off alone and get in this sort of trouble. Was he jumped? Well, he was going to find out.

"Would anyone like to have some tea?" asked Shirogane politely as he walked on towards the kitchen. Akira glowered after him.

"No one said you could make yourself at home," he growled. Shirogane shrugged Akira off with a smile and disappeared behind the kitchen door for the moment. His absence wouldn't last very long. Both boys knew that thing for sure about the strange silver haired man.

"So," Akira started, his voice monotone, hiding his worry behind a mask of boredom. "Tell me what happened or I'll just throw you out the door."

"I'll let myself out, then," Kengo retorted, pushing himself back onto his feet. Akira stopped him, his hand pressed against his chest and shoving back on top of the couch.

"Tell me what happened, Kengo!" Akira snapped, raising his voice. Kengo flinched, not expecting this at all from Akira. It was too surreal. Why would this irk the brunette so much?

"Why the hell do you care? Is it because you didn't get to do it yourself?" Kengo snapped right back, again shocking himself for his boldness and shrinking back into the couch. It was really squishy, he mused, and soft. Man, the things he tried to think about to get his mind off of the other boy.

Kengo was even more surprised when Akira grabbed him by the front of his shirt, his face inches from his. The blonde's eyes widened, shuddering when he felt Akira's hot breath pass his cheek. "I'm not going to ask you again," Akira seethed, eyes boring into Kengo's, as if searching through his orbs to find the answer hidden in them.

"I just got in a fight with some freaks, that's all!" Kengo tried to push him away, but stopped when he felt pain jolt through him and he bit on his lip so hard that it started bleeding all over again, adding to his already busted lip.

"That's all? Kengo-" Akira gritted his teeth when he saw how much pain his friend was in. Wait, friend? When did he even consider this half-witted, pathetic excuse for a human a friend of his? He was only for amusement purposes anyway, right? To smack around, taunt, pick on and always have the idiot coming back to him as if nothing happened. Sometimes it really sickened him to see how Kengo looked at him. Like he was some amazing, god-like person. It got really annoying. Not to mention creepy. But today, or night, rather, he didn't really focus on those things. He was actually aware that he was worried for the idiot. Just as he was worried when Kengo wanted to join them on this dangerous mission with the shadow world.

"Come on," Akira lifted Kengo up from the armpits and off of the couch, instantly grabbing him by the elbow and dragging him upstairs towards his room.

"I made the tea," Shirogane said in a slight sing-song voice as he came back out of the kitchen, only to find the two boys hurrying upstairs. His icy eyes narrowed slightly and he frowned. He followed after, leaving the tea untouched by the table.

"What are you doing?" Akira said with a glare after seeing Shirogane follow them into his bedroom. He was just about to shut the door, but the man's white-gloved hand stopped it short.

"I can only be so far away from you, Akira, before you turn back to your Shadow self, remember?" Shorgane stated, smiling cutely at the doorway. Akira gave a roll of his eyes and shut the door on him. "Good, then you can just sit right there and be a good doppelganger," he retorted.

"Aww, Akiiraaa!" Shirogane whined.

"Shut up!" Akira said with an aggravated huff, wishing he had the ability to go deaf right now. Kengo shifted uncomfortably on his feet, a little off balance until Akira gripped his shoulders firmly and glared daggers at him. "You will tell me everything."

Kengo gulped, perspiration dampening his forehead. He was so in for it now. The look on Akira's face said everything. How was Kengo going to tell him the truth without Akira killing him for it later?

Damn, if only he had drowned to death like a turkey.

That's it for now! I'll be working on chapter two soon. I'm thinking it's only going to be a two chapter story, unless I get an actual plot later on. Who knows. It was going to be a one-shot, but I realized it's long for a one-shot! Heh.

REVIEWS ARE MUCH APPRICIATED. I know hardly anyone knows about Monochrome Factor since it's very new, not to mention the Akira/Kengo shipping is the rarest thing out there, not to mention the most OBVIOUS pairing. I only found one pairing fic of them here, which makes me sad. It was a good one-shot though! Kudos to them that wrote it!